Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Solarbotics & BPS Spring 2013 Maker Faire Contest Winners

At the 2013 Maker Faire in San Francisco, Solarbotics and BusBoard won an “Editor’s Choice” award for giving away $2000 in BPS breadboards & proto boards with the Prizenator (see below) and our $500 giveaway contest.

Congratulations to our winners in the $500 giveaway contest.  Elizabeth from Houston, Texas (age 11) was our first place winner with her drawing of a robot unicorn.  She won $500 worth of BusBoard products of her choice.
Elizabeth's Contest Entry (Age 11)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Four STM32-Discovery BaseBoards

I have have developed baseboards for the Discovery-F4, Discovery-F3, and Discovery-VL modules.  These were originally developed for use in my own projects.  The baseboards are now available for purchase as bare PCBs.

Discovery-F4 BaseBoard

Click to Enlarge
STM32-F4B1 BaseBoard Features [Click to Enlarge]
The baseboards  are designed to maximize the number of UART ports and peripherals that can be added to the Discovery boards.  The STM32-F4B1 baseboard is a 4-layer PCB that measures 160x160mm. 
Three serial interfaces can be added using ComBoard modules.  ComBoard is an open standard developed by BPS for adding UART peripherals to development boards.  ComBoards have 10 pins for all RS232 handshaking signals plus power, although many modules will just use Tx/Rx and possibly RTS/CTS. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

STM32 Discovery-F3 and Discovery-F4 Differences

STMicro has just released the Discovery-F3 board, the latest in its line of low-cost evaluation modules for the STM32 family of ARM-Cortex microcontrollers.  It is similar to the Discovery-F4 board released last year in many ways.

The Discovery-F3 has a 32-bit microcontroller with a floating-point unit like the Discovery-F4, and it has the same physical footprint as the Discovery-F4.  So what are the differences between the Discovery-F3 and the Discovery-F4?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Introducing the STMicro F3 Family of ARM Cortex-M4 Microcontrollers

Last year STMicro introduced the STM32 F4 family of high-performance ARM Cortex-M4 microcontrollers.  They are now launching the F3 series, a lower cost family of Cortex-M4 microcontrollers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book-The Papa Prayer

I've started reading a new book by Larry Crabb called "The Papa Prayer".  It sounds insightful, and I think it will be very good.  The sub-title is "The Prayer You've Never Prayed".

The forward to the book has the following quotation...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Pinout Spreadsheet for the STM32F4-Discovery

ARM Cortex microcontrollers have a great number of peripherals.  So many in fact that you won't be able to use many of them at the same time, except possibly on the highest pin count devices.  The ST-Micro Discovery-F4 module provides six USARTs, two USB ports, three I2C ports, three SPIs, sixteen ADC channels, ethernet and more...
BUT you have to pick and choose which are connected to the 80 available GPIO pins.

The Discovery-F4 module has up to 10 alternate functions on some pins to allow you to choose whether to use the pin as GPIO or as a peripheral pin.  Some functions are available on multiple pins.  However, pin conflicts may mean you won't be able to use all of the peripherals you want at the same time.

I have created an Excel spreadsheet to help in the pin assignment process.  The STM32-Discovery-F4 pinout spreadsheet lists the Discovery modules pin information along with the alternate functions available for each pin.  This spreadsheet helps me to plan my projects by assigning pin names and rearranging the rows to group related pins.  I have color coded the pin functions to help me see what functions are available on which pins.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Breakout Board for the STM32F4-Discovery

This is the first in a series of articles about the STM32 family of ARM Cortex microcontrollers.

In this article I will show the breakout board I built for the STM32F4 Discovery module.  It features two male DIL headers to easily attach jumper wires and two RS232 serial ports

It uses a BusBoard-3U prototyping board to connect the DIL male headers to the Discovery module.  For RS232 interfaces I used ComBoard CB232F and CB232M modules to simplify wiring.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Introducing the AVR-3U Dev Board for the ATmega1284P

BPS has created a development board for 40 pin AVR microcontrollers. All the interfaces are brought out to various connectors to easily hook up to accessory boards and peripheral ICs.

We wanted the following features for the board:
  • All thru-hole construction for easy assembly
  • Easy port connections to breadboards for prototyping
  • 2 serial ports.     Lots of memory (> 32k Flash).
  • JTAG connector for debugging 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Introducing Solderable PC BreadBoards

A solderable PC breadboard is a prototyping printed circuit board (PCB) with a connection pattern the same as a solderless breadboard (plug-in breadboard). This article describes the solderable PC breadboards available from BPS.

Many electronics hobbyists are familiar with using breadboards to build and test circuits. Breadboards allow circuits to be quickly built and modified as needed, and they are reusable. However, breadboard circuits aren’t very rugged. Movement or vibration can easily cause wires and parts to fall out.

Once a circuit is working, a more rugged, permanent circuit is often needed. Soldering the parts on a PCB protoboard makes the connections durable. Since PC breadboards have the same patterns as breadboards, it is easy to construct a soldered permanent circuit bases on the plug-in breadboard prototype.

Monday, October 11, 2010

BreadBoard Internal Connections

This article describes the internal connections for the BB300, BB400 and BB830 breadboards. 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Memorize Romans 12:1+2

A friend of mine had some cards he was using to memorize Bible verses.  In it he had Romans 12:1 and 2 from the New English Bible (NEB) translation.  I love the way the NEB has translated these verses.